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A Pair of Maturing Wines From Cornerstone Cellars


We decided to treat ourselves to mature wines having been spared any damage from Hurricane Sandy.  Made curious by some recent Cornerstone Cellars wines we had tasted I decided to open this older pair.  Both wines were double-decanted to remove sediment.  The 2002 drank well from the start since the 2003 was initially tight.  Within an hour the 2003 hit its stride showing the full extent of its weight.  I enjoyed both of these wines.  The 2002 is more elegant and complex whereas the 2003 is more concentrated and weighty with rugged tannins.  I recommend both, just pick the one to match your mood or food.  Both of these are drinking well right now but should continue to do so for a number of years.  The pricing is quite good for ten year old Napa Cab.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2002 Cornerstone Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – $35
This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Sweetwater Ranch, Neal Family Vineyards on Howell Mountain, and J.J. Cohn Estate in Rutherford.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color was medium garnet.  The medium strength nose started with fresh eucalyptus but in retrospect was more finely scented bell pepper and with air, aromas of cedar.  In the mouth this medium bodied wine was savory with red fruit, cedar box, and mature notes.  With air it developed strawberry candy flavors with plenty of acidity to keep it lithe.  It was fresh in the finish with spices then flavors that became textured in the aftertaste.  *** Now-2019.

2003 Cornerstone Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – $33
This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color was medium garnet with a dark, roast core.  The medium strength nose was of red fruit then red candy.  In the mouth the wine started with tight red fruit.  But after a little air it developed nicely showing a core of almost minty, fresh blue fruit.  It built a racy weight with air which matched the drying, ripe-ish tannins.  There is still concentration to the ripe fruit and spices.  In the aftertaste there was a little spicy note to the rugged tannins.  *** Now-2022.

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